Thursday, May 29, 2014

An early walk in St. George

An early walk in St. George showed me a beautiful moon setting over the western mountains... 
...and between a bush and a palm tree.
It was a lovely walk. I love to walk each day even when it's not among breathtaking scenery. What do you like to do every day?


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Lauren Skidmore Interview

In a land of masquerades and mystery, Evie is a mask maker in Venesia, where masks represent rank and identity. When a cryptic bandit strips away Evie’s mask and destroys her home, she goes into hiding at the palace to find both a new identity—and revenge. Fantasy lovers will be caught up by the mystique, romance, and magic of "What Is Hidden."


Author Interview:

Shirley: Lauren? Is that you behind that sparkly mask? I think it’s you, because you’ve got the right shade of luscious long blonde hair.

Lauren: Yep, it’s me. I’ve also got the green of an artisan on my mask.

Shirley: Lovely! That green really brings out your eyes. Does my mask look okay? I thought my eye holes might have been cut too big when I could easily see all those dishes stacked on the counters and in the sink. Also, I don’t want to come across as too flirtatious by showing too much skin around my eyes.

Lauren: It looks great! Don’t worry, these masks are molded so closely that it takes awhile to adjust to the feel of a new one. But yours is just right.

Shirley: That's a relief. I'd really like to get out of this kitchen. Someone might tell us to wash these mountains of dishes all by ourselves, just like Cinderella had to. Do you know the best way out?

Lauren: These buildings are filled with secret passages, and I know just the way out, follow me. 

Shirley: Ooo, is this the castle?

Lauren: It is, look at all these nobles in their purple masks! Don’t they look luxurious?

Shirley: They do, especially that guy! He has cute hair, and what a gorgeous mask! How did you ever come up with the idea to write a book about a culture that finds wearing masks to be modest, and going bare-faced a punishment served in a place like the Naked Square?

Lauren:  I thought about the metaphorical masks and outward appearances we have in our own world, and took a more literal approach. Besides, these masks are so beautiful, who wouldn’t want to wear them all the time? The punishment comes from the idea of having every last defense taken from you, even your appearance, and being left only with the fear of being absolutely vulnerable. 

Shirley: You're giving me the shivers! Let's get out of this hallway. It's way too crowded. Look out! Can you believe the nerve of that guy making a grab for your mask? Do you think… oh my goodness, could he be the Chameleon, trying to steal your mask and your identity?

Lauren: I don’t think so, I’m not important enough for the Chameleon to target me - he likes to go after the mask makers. 

Shirley: There's the end of the hallway up ahead. At last. Have you heard the rumor that the Chameleon could actually be a woman?

Lauren: I have! The only way we’ll know we’ve really got the right criminal is by the special Mark on their face. 

Shirley: Wouldn't it be terrible if someone had a birthmark in the same shape as the Mark? Ugh, let's talk about something more cheerful. Do you think we’ll see the prince? I’ve heard that no one’s ever seen his face except his parents and his nursemaid. Maybe the prince is really ugly!

Lauren: Wouldn’t that be a surprise! And it might make his search for a wife at the balls a little more difficult. But I think he’ll be just as charming as a prince should be.  

Shirley: We can hope, at least until he's unmasked...that is, if he's ever unmasked. Then we'd know for sure. Well, will you look at that? This ballroom is full of people wearing masks! Do you think we can blend in?  I’d like to have a shot at that refreshment table. Come on, let's get there before all the little cream puffs shaped like swans are gone.

Lauren: The food is always worth the risk, haha.

Shirley: I have one last question for you: If this is a Cinderella story, then who’s the fairy godmother? 

Lauren: Sometimes, you have to be your own fairy godmother. Although Evie does get a little help from her best friend.



Lauren Skidmore grew up in Kansas, with stints in Ohio and New York, and currently lives in Utah. She attended Brigham Young University where she earned a BA in English Teaching with an emphasis in Teaching English as a Second Language and Japanese. She then spent a year in Japan teaching and travelling. She hasn’t made it to Europe yet, but it’s on the list and has been to 30 states in the U.S. so far. When she’s not exploring new places, you can probably find her on the internet with fifteen windows open and looking at just one more thing before actually getting something done.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Who Won the Cat Fight?

This is kind of a fuzzy picture, but maybe that's a good thing, because our cat came in with a claw sheath stuck in her nose. Well, not IN her nose, but On her nose. She didn't want to hold still for pictures. (Well, would YOU?)
At least our cat can breathe better with an extra air hole in her nose. (JK!)


What I want to know is, what's the story, morning glory? Did this cat win by taking away a trophy? Or did the other cat win by getting one of its claws embedded in the nose? What do you think? Who do you vote for as the winnah winnah winnah? 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Cow Pie Cookies


When I made "real" cookies for my family, (they don't like my "dog poop" pumpkin or yam/nut/dark chocolate chip cookies - I have all boys, remember? They are not subtle) I doubled the recipe for every ingredient except the flour. So they got cow pie cookies. (No, I did NOT do it on purpose! But if I'd thought of it before hand, I just might have...)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Car Wash

Oscar never had it so good at his under sea car wash! COLORFUL SOAP sprayed our windows when my son Monkey and I (in case you're wondering about MY nickname, Monkey calls me Billie Ollie Ellanore... that's a unique spelling for "Elinor" in case you're phonetically challenged) went through an automated car wash.
I don't know about you, but I always get a rush of claustrophobia when my car windows are covered with wet stuff. I've already decided that I would much rather bleed to death than drown.
Does this look like a Picasso painting to anyone else? My favorite thing is to stand OUTSIDE the car with the hose in my hand. There's more air out there, and it's cheaper, too. But at least Monkey and Billie Ollie Ellanore got to share a memory!
What kind of memories have you made this past week?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Weird Car Ornament

When I spotted something odd hanging in the windshield of a car at the local Department of Motor Vehicles, I had to get a closer look. 
There was some kind of strange-looking creature hanging there. It was one of those intriguing, repelling sights. What WAS the thing? 
My best guess is that it was some kind of vehicular "Kitchen Witch" (a term used for "cute" witch figures that some people put in their kitchen for luck, or to blame when the food gets burnt.) 
What do you think? Would driving your car with this in it make you feel protected? (See the wand? There are also wings.) Or would it make you feel cursed? Perhaps it would make you feel as if you were perpetually traveling with a back seat driver, even if you were all alone! 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Stock Guy

I was amazed to see a guy stocking products up on TOP of the shelves in the grocery store.
There appeared to be a lot of room up there, so it made sense in one way, but on the other hand, I was left to wonder... 
...how are customers supposed to get their carts up there?

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Water Experiment Gone Moldy!

After three weeks, I'm done with the Masaru Emoto water-and-emotions experiment.
Here are the seven water bottles that my sons and I spoke to each day with different verbal messages. We also had the messages written and taped to the bottle lids. (Which of these bottles is not like the others? Would you care to guess what was said to that bottle?) Scroll down for a closer look.
 The three bottles above from left to right were told: "I love you," the center bottle was ignored, and the far right was "I hate you, devil water and rice."  
The two bottles above from left to right are: "You're so funny, you make me laugh!" and "You're beautiful." (THAT IS NOT A TYPO! The moldy bottle was told it was beautiful! So what's with the mold? Are they supposed to be beauty marks?)
The two bottles above from left to right were told: "Please go away" and "retard."
So what do I think about this experiment?
I don't understand it.
What do you think?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Manti High School Spiffy Soccer Players

I saw these Manti High School soccer players all spiffed up... 
And had to take a picture!

When I was substitute teaching at Manti High School, Eduardo Munoz, Israel Mayorga, and Juan Frutos strode into the classroom dressed sharply, in black shirts and ties. Honestly, I had to look twice, since they weren't wearing t-shirts! They are part of one of the BEST soccer teams in the state of Utah, and agreed to hold the soccer ball still long enough for me to take their picture.
(Keep on kickin', guys!)  

What's Your First Thought?

When I passed this road sign, I was so full of ideas about the origin of the broken side that I had to turn around and go back to take a pi...